PRINTER'S NO. 1355
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
923
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MASTRIANO, BREWSTER, DINNIMAN, PITTMAN,
TARTAGLIONE, J. WARD AND K. WARD, OCTOBER 31, 2019
REFERRED TO FINANCE, OCTOBER 31, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in assessments of persons and
property, providing for senior citizens property tax
elimination.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 85 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER G
SENIOR CITIZENS PROPERTY TAX ELIMINATION
Sec.
8591. Scope of subchapter.
8592. Definitions.
8593. Exemption.
8594. Application for exemption.
8595. Termination of exemption.
8596. Reimbursement by Commonwealth.
8597. Applicability.
§ 8591. Scope of subchapter.
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This subchapter relates to senior citizen property tax
elimination.
§ 8592. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Claimant." An individual who files a claim for real
property tax exemption under this subchapter.
"Household income." All income received by a claimant and
the claimant's spouse while residing in the homestead during the
calendar year immediately prior to the year for which tax
exemption is claimed.
"Income." As follows:
(1) All income from whatever source derived, including,
but not limited to:
(i) Salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, income
from self-employment, alimony, support money, cash public
assistance and relief.
(ii) The gross amount of any pensions or annuities,
including 50% of railroad retirement benefits.
(iii) Fifty percent of all benefits received under
the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et
seq.), except Medicare benefits.
(iv) All benefits received under State unemployment
insurance laws.
(v) All interest received from the Federal or any
State government or any instrumentality or political
subdivision thereof.
(vi) Realized capital gains and rentals.
(vii) Workers' compensation.
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(viii) The gross amount of loss of time insurance
benefits, life insurance benefits and proceeds, except
the first $5,000 of the total of death benefit payments.
(ix) Gifts of cash or property, other than transfers
by gift between members of a household, in excess of a
total value of $300.
(2) The term does not include surplus food or other
relief in kind supplied by a governmental agency, property
tax or rent rebate , inflation dividend, Federal veterans'
disability payments or State veterans' benefits.
"Real property taxes." All taxes on a homestead, exclusive
of municipal assessments, delinquent charges and interest, due
and payable during a calendar year.
§ 8593. Exemption.
(a) General rule.--An individual who has an annual household
income of $40,000 or less shall be exempt from the payment of
real property taxes if all of the following apply:
(1) T he individual is 65 years of age or older.
(2) The individual currently resides on the property for
which the exemption is claimed and has maintained residency
on the property for 10 or more years.
(3) Neither the individual nor any other person with
whom the individual owns the property by joint tenancy,
tenancy in common or tenancy by the entireties is currently
claiming or otherwise receiving an exemption under this
subchapter as to other property located in this Commonwealth.
(b) Homestead.--The exemption authorized under subsection
(a) shall apply only to real property taxes on an eligible
claimant's homestead.
§ 8594 . Application for exemption.
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(a) Initial application.--An individual may apply annually
for the exemption authorized under section 8593 (relating to
exemption). In the initial year of application, the claimant
must file with the political subdivision that imposes the tax a
notarized statement containing all of the following:
(1) The claimant's name, residential address and Social
Security number.
(2) A certification that the individual is 65 years of
age or older, currently resides on the property for which the
exemption is claimed and has maintained residency on the
property for 10 or more years.
(3) The names and Social Security numbers of all other
owners of the property for which the exemption is claimed.
(4) A certification that no taxes are in arrears for the
property.
(5) Evidence that the individual's annual household
income does not exceed $40,000.
(b) Subsequent years.--After a political subdivision
authorizes a claimant's initial application, the claimant shall
remain eligible for a tax exemption in subsequent years as long
as the claimant annually files an application with the political
subdivision showing that the claimant continues to meet the
eligibility requirements of this subchapter.
§ 8595. Termination of exemption.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), an
exemption allowed under section 8593 (relating to exemption)
shall be terminated, and the tax and tax rate shall become
current upon sale or transfer of the property for which the
exemption is in effect, including a transfer under a recorded
real property sales contract.
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(b) Exception.--The exemption shall not be terminated under
subsection (a) if the sale or transfer is to a joint owner,
tenant in common or tenant by the entireties who is 64 years of
age or older at the time of the sale or transfer and who is
otherwise entitled to claim the exemption.
§ 8596. Reimbursement by Commonwealth.
Political subdivisions shall be reimbursed annually by the
Commonwealth for the difference between the real property taxes
imposed upon individuals who are receiving exemptions under this
subchapter and the tax liability which would have been imposed
if the exemptions had not been granted. Reimbursements under
this section shall be paid from the State Gaming Fund and the
State Lottery Fund.
§ 8597. Applicability.
This subchapter shall apply to real property taxes due on or
after July 1 next succeeding the effective date of this section.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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